Monday, October 22, 2012

Time for a Tablet?

This rat’s nest of wires and gadgets is my on-road kit, recharging:  Three phones, a computer, a camera, an mp3 player, a clock/alarm, sometimes a TomTom or voice recorder, all with universal adapters.   They nestle into a shoulder bag, which also has my diary, my expense book, my notes-book, a Dutch dictionary, Dutch workbook, magazines, a book or two,  hair brush and reading glasses.

Except for the brush and glasses, is it time to consolidate?

The anachronistic folly was emphasized during a recent planning meeting: when it was time for a date check, everyone pulled out phones and tablets.  I whipped out the trusty Cambridge Diary and a pen.  For goodness sake: you’re the tech guy!, hooted my companions.  “ ’not an issue”, I grimaced.  But when I got back to Cambridge I went looking for the 2013 edition and it became one: my 800-year-old institution had finally given up on printing paper diaries.

It’s clearly time to move on, get with the 21st century.

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Although I’m not completely trusting of cloud storage and worry about the risk of losing everything if catastrophe befalls a tables, the emerging 7” form factor is appealing, and cheap enough to experiment with.  Most of the printed material has on-line equivalents that can be red off-line, and it shouldn’t be much trick to consolidate audio media.  I’ll likely hold the camera (and reading glasses) separate for now (people do look ridiculous taking photos with a tablet), but otherwise everything should go into one electronic device (and power cord).

7inchers_scFortunately, this is Tech-tablet-announcement week: Apple early, Microsoft mid, and Google late, all with new products.   The Surface is likely too large for what I want, Apple’s Mini will probably be too expensive.  That leaves Nexus: so if Google comes up with 3G connectivity, I’m ready to take the leap and she the shoulder-bag.

‘Advice to a tech-savvy, tablet-naïve road warrior is welcome!

Follow-on: Nov 1 – There’s now good information coming out from reviewers on all of the options now that product launches are complete.

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